PULLMAN, Wash. – When it comes to recruiting baseball student-athletes in state and throughout the Northwest, no Division I school in the area does it better than Washington State.
During Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut’s nine seasons as the leader of the Washington State program, 83 percent of those that have worn Crimson and Gray have been from the state of Washington. Overall, 92 percent of Cougars are natives of the Northwest.
“We will always recruit the state of Washington first,” Marbut said. “We do it well because we emphasize it and make it a priority.”
No other Division I school in the Northwest has had more than 80 percent of in-state student-athletes during Marbut’s tenure and the highest percentage of Northwest natives at any one school is 86 percent. The average percentage of in-state student-athletes at the Cougars’ area rivals is 50 percent with the Northwest accounting for 69 percent of the rosters.
Marbut’s philosophy is a big reason he has surrounded himself with staff members from the state of Washington. Cougar Assistant Coach Gregg Swenson has 22 years of experience in the state of Washington. He has mentored the Washington State pitching staff since 2006 and been a critical part of the Cougars’ success in the Evergreen State.
Pat Waer became Washington State’s recruiting coordinator prior to the 2013 season. Waer knows the state having played collegiately as a Cougar. He understands the importance of recruiting in a school’s backyard. During his six years at Fresno State, prior to joining the Washington State staff, the Bulldogs had only one student-athlete that did not call California home.
Washington State Volunteer Coach Michael Naughton played at Gonzaga and spent time as the head coach at Tacoma Community College before coming to Pullman. The newest member of Marbut’s staff, operations coordinator Abe Silvestri, played for the Cougar skipper at Edmonds Community College.